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Nuclear Safety

The Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS) provides the following services related to nuclear safety to ensure the protection of workers, the public, and the environment from the hazards associated with nuclear operations.

  • CORPORATE POLICY – Establishes and maintains nuclear safety policy, requirements expectations related to hazard and accident analysis, facility design and operation, training, and readiness of new or modified nuclear facilities. Establishes and maintains Quality Assurance policy, requirements and guidance for the Department (for both nuclear and non-nuclear related activities).
  • CORPORATE RESOURCE - serves as DOE's corporate resource to ensure that products and services meet or exceed the Department's quality objectives. When directed, provides recommendations to the Chief Health, Safety and Security Officer regarding concurrence in the final decision to startup or restart a nuclear facility.
    • provides high quality, customer-oriented assistance that enables improved DOE program and field implementation of nuclear safety requirements and resolution of site specific and crosscutting issues related to nuclear safety.
    • works proactively with Departmental elements and contractors to foster continuous improvements and maintains effective liaison with regulatory agencies and interagency and international committees and technical standards organizations regarding nuclear safety and QA matters.
  • RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT - leads the Department nuclear safety research and development activities.

Beyond Design Basis Events

Following the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident in Japan, DOE embarked upon several initiatives to investigate the safety posture of its nuclear facilities relative to beyond design basis events (BDBEs).

Criticality Safety

The Nuclear Facility Safety Program establishes and maintains the DOE requirements for nuclear criticality safety. The DOE detailed requirements for criticality safety are contained in Section 4.3 of the DOE Order 420.1,Facility Safety.

Information on DOE O 420.1C, Facility Safety

DOE O 420.1C, Facility Safety establishes facility and programmatic safety requirements for DOE and NNSA for nuclear safety design criteria, fire protection, and criticality safety.

Risk Assessment Technical Experts Working Group

The Risk Assessment Technical Experts Working Group (RWG) is established to assist DOE in the appropriate and effective use of quantitative risk assessment in nuclear safety related activities. The activities of the group will help DOE ensure that risk assessments supporting nuclear safety decisions are conducted in a consistent manner, of appropriate quality, properly tailored to the needs of the decisions they are intended to support and documented. The RWG will also assist DOE in assessing the adequacy of available risk assessment tools and guidance supporting nuclear safety at its nuclear facilities.

Quality Assurance

The Department's commitment to environment, safety, and health also relies, upon work being conducted within an effective management system. DOE line managers and contracting officers must understand these two fundamental purposes for the QA requirements and ensure the QA Order and rule are specified in each major contract (including those contracts using the Work Smart Standards process to satisfy DOE Acquisition regulation 48 CFR 970.5223-1).

10 CFR Part 830 Nuclear Safety Technical Positions

Nuclear and Facility Safety Policy is the Office of Primary Interest (OPI) responsible for the development, interpretation, and revision of a number of DOE directives. Technical Positions to directives issued by Nuclear and Facility Safety Policy provide clarification for specific applications of the requirements in DOE orders, rules, and other directives.

Fire Protection Program

The Department of Energy (DOE) Fire Protection Program is multi-faceted. It includes published fire safety directives (Orders, standards, and guidance documents), a range of oversight activities, an annual fire protection program summary. DOE also sponsors fire safety conferences, various training initiatives, and a spectrum of technical assistance activities. This page is intended to bring together in one location as much of the Program's resources as possible to facilitate greater understanding, communication, and efficiency of operations.